Council Meeting: Get Involved, Or Changes on Main Street East Will Be Huge

Discussions around the Intensification Project of Main Street East - or “the Hospital Corridor”, as the Town likes to call it, were on the agenda of the latest Council Meeting on Monday, July 16.

Many people are concerned about the outcome of this project and the aldermen were under pressure to demand more answers from the Toronto company - SGL Consulting and Design, who is conducting the Intensification Study for this area.

Looking for reasons

Right off the bat, the “Why” of this project came into discussion. The consultant gave several reasons, some which we’ve already heard during June’s workshop:

  • There is pressure to develop coming from the Toronto area
  • Grimsby is an attractive place because its nature areas and deep lots
  • This area lays in between downtown and the hospital so it has high real estate potential
  • The new hospital creates the need for more health-related services near-by
  • Existing residents want more access to amenities like grocery stores

This is all music to the ears of the Planning Department, who seem to be on the path to transform this portion of Main Street East into something that looks more like today’s Milton or North Oakville.

The only needs that would truly benefit the local community are access to more medical services and amenities in the area. And neither requires “intensification” and overpopulating Main Street East in order to be accomplished. As Alderman Joanne Johnston put it, “Many people want to keep the older character of the area and don’t want to step directly into the Twilight Zone”.

Another Casablanca/Winston?

Judging by the negative reactions of our community to the West-end development, there are real concerns that the same mistakes will be repeated on Main Street East.

Are these concerns justified? Well… Four storey condos with retail at the ground level and terracing so “they don’t shade neighbouring houses” seems awfully close to the West-end development albeit at a smaller scale, for now.

If the Planning Department sees this project approved, we’ll all end up with thousands of new people flooding the area, nightmare traffic, and parking lots over parking lots to accommodate both residential and retail spaces. And not to mention the added pressure on the Nelles Public School and the two small daycare centres in the neighbourhood. Just think about it.

We say… they say

If you attended the Visioning Workshop in June, you may remember one question that stood out:

“How much would you like this area to change?”

A. Not at all

B. A little

C. A lot

Almost all people answered, “Not at all” or “A little”.

Does our Main Street East flanked by four storey buildings with huge parking lots back and front look like “a little changed” to you?

We need to act now

Changes are normal. People sell, other people buy. Houses are renovated or rebuilt. All part of a healthy lifecycle that naturally adapts to the changing needs of a healthy community.

On the other hand, big development means big changes which are highly disruptive to people’s lives.

We need to show more that we care. As some councillors said, they expect more people to give their feedback to the Town before this Plan gets approved.

Let’s do that! Comment on Facebook, publish your thoughts and come to meetings. Together we can stop big development from destroying this area of our town, too.


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